Abortion in Sierra Leone

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In Sierra Leone, abortion is still illegal upon request; nonetheless, both surgical and medical abortions are available at government-approved facilities. The most popular facility visited in Sierra Leone for such services is Marie Stopes.

Is abortion legal in Sierra Leone?

Abortion in Sierra Leone is only legal to save a woman’s life [1].

What types of abortion are availabe in Sierra Leone?

Both medical and in-clinic abortions are available in Sierra Leone.

What is the abortion rate in Sierra Leone? How many women have abortions?

A total of 10% of the maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone can be attributed to unsafe abortions [2].

Abortion with pills (Medical Abortion)

Are the abortion pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) available in Sierra Leone?

Yes, both Mifepristone and Misoprostol are available in Sierra Leone.

How late into a pregnancy can abortion pills be used?

The abortion pills can be safely used up to 11 weeks’ gestation [3].

Do I need a prescription for Mifepristone or Misoprostol?

Yes, a prescription is needed for both Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

What brands of abortion pills are popular in Sierra Leone?

Popular brands include Misofem, MM Combikit, and Mariprist [4].

How much do the abortion pills cost in Sierra Leone?

The cost ranges from Le 25,000 to 40,000.

Who can I contact for more information on abortion in Sierra Leone?

Marie Stopes Sierra Leone: 3535
Lydia Hotline: 1221

In-clinic abortion

What are the different types of in-clinic abortion procedures availble in Sierra Leone?

The following in-clinic procedures are available: Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA).

Is MVA safe?

MVA is a very safe method of abortion for pregnancies in the first trimester and/or early second trimester, all the way up to 14 weeks of gestation [2]. The gestational age limit for MVA often depends on the clinic as well as the health-care provider performing the procedure [5].

A legal MVA is performed by a trained provider in a clinic.

Where can I get an MVA abortion in Sierra Leone?

MVA for post-abortion care only is legally available at most public and private hospitals and clinics across Sierra Leone.

How much does MVA cost in Sierra Leone?

The cost of an MVA for post-abortion care is Le 250,000.

Are there any side effects with an MVA?

The most common side effect associated with MVA is strong cramps experienced during the procedure. Often this cramping will improve quickly afterwards, but some women may experience cramping on and off for a few days or weeks. This side effect is best managed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen [5].

Authors:

by the safe2choose team and supporting experts at carafem, based on the 2019 recommendations by Ipas, and the 2012 recommendations by the WHO.

safe2choose is an online counseling and informational platform that supports women who want a safe abortion and, when needed, refers them to trusted, trained, and pro-choice health-care providers.

carafem provides convenient and professional abortion care and family planning so people can control the number and spacing of their children.

Ipas is the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care.

WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.


Sources

[1] “The World’s Abortion Laws Map.” Center for Reproductive Rights, reproductiverights.org/worldabortionlaws Accessed September 2020.

[2] “Unsafe abortions cause high maternal death rate in Sierra Leone.” TRT World, www.google.com/url?q=https://www.trtworld.com/mea/unsafe-abortions-cause-high-maternal-death-rate-in-sierra-leone-13951&sa=D&ust=1601017783490000&usg=AFQjCNEl_dhBLV6Y0QPrJq-ueRAY2N7Mpg. Accessed September 2020.

[3] “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems.” WHO, Second edition, apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/70914/9789241548434_eng.pd%20f?sequence=1. Accessed September 2020.

[4] “Medical Abortion Commodities Database.” PPF, www.medab.org/. Accessed September 2020.

[5] “Clinical Updates in Reproductive Health.” Ipas, 2019, ipas.azureedge.net/files/CURHE19-april-ClinicalUpdatesInReproductiveHealth.pdf. Accessed September 2020.

Last updated on 02/10/2020

We are staying available to support you with your abortion during COVID-19.

We are closely monitoring the situation of coronavirus globally and will keep updating our information and services.

We advise our readers to:

  1. Read our latest blog post on abortion and COVID-19
  2. Follow WHO safety guidelines on COVID-19
  3. Contact our counselors